Sunday, March 20, 2011

Day 3 - We've Come a Long Way Big Girl

Potty training can be tough!!
Today was Day 3 of the 3-Day Potty Training Method. We had a few ups and downs. But over all, definitely much forward progress. Miss seems to have gotten the hang of telling us when she needs to pee, though we had a minor set back today when I had put her down for her nap and she called out that she needed to pee but I didn't hear her, so she wet the bed. And with less opportunity for practice, we're still working on completely getting to the potty in time for #2. But in general, I say the program was a success. From starting on day 1 with frequent accidents,

to consistently staying dry by the end of day two,

to weathering a setback today and finally making some progress on the poop factor (she held it all through the first two days!),

I'm very happy with the result of all our hard work this weekend. I would do a little dance if I weren't so tired.

Why am I so tired you ask? Well, in addition to the focused nature of this potty training program, which is surprisingly exhausting and will be discussed further below, we did have wet sheets last night when I checked on Miss around 3 am. I got her up, changed her, peeled off the wet sheet and waterproof mattress pad, took her to pee, and she went right back to bed. She was amazingly sweet throughout the process too. Unfortunately, when I brought the sheets down to put them in the washer, I found that my old dog had decided that I hadn't cleaned up enough pee these past few days, so she peed on the floor in the kitchen. And pooped just for good measure. By the time I got back to bed it was after 4, and just as I was finally getting back to sleep, Lass made her presence known by yelling a few times before peacefully and quickly going back to sleep (her, not me). But then what would motherhood be without lots of pee and poop and lack of sleep???

Small price to pay for moments like this

Lass was an absolute angel this weekend. In spite of being unceremoniously plopped down a few times so I could run her sister to the bathroom, and even once or twice being yanked off the boob while nursing for the same purpose (this mostly occurred on Friday when the peeing was frequent and the hubby was absent), she maintained her sunny disposition. She used the time to practice her mobility, which is increasing more and more every day.

And of course she managed to be adorable even though the poor girl never even got changed out of jammies most of the weekend (I didn't either for that matter).

I think there are lots of 3-day or 4-day or "Boot Camp" potty training methods out there. I honestly didn't research all of them because the one I chose to use was recommended to me independently by two different, trusted mom friends. Plus several other friends, who got the same recommendation and have older kids, have already tried it with success. And after reading through all the strategies in this program, it just made sense to me. I don't want to go into explaining all the strategies of a copyrighted program, but I do want to share why this program seemed a good fit to me. It doesn't involve making your child sit on the potty for long periods of time. In fact, the mom who developed this program insists your should never make your child sit for a long time on the potty. She says you should never make them sit at all. Her strategy pretty much takes all the power struggle out of potty training, and that had a great deal of appeal to me. I am a firm believer that there are two things that you can not make a child do, though many parents seem to try to make their children do them. You can't make your child eat, and you can't make your child go to the bathroom. You can make a child sit at the dinner table. You can make a child sit on the potty. I'm personally not a fan of either of these things, so I love that with this potty training method, you are actually encouraged not to make your child spend time on the potty. Among other good points of this method, this was one of my favorites. Now don't get me wrong. I know there are tons of different ways to potty train a child. And short of a method that involves berating a child and telling her she is bad or dirty for having an accident or not going in the potty or whatever, I don't think any of them are wrong. They all have their strengths and weaknesses and all eventually result in a child who learns to go to the bathroom on the toilet.

So what's the verdict with this strategy? Although I can't say Miss is 100% "potty trained" in 3 days, I will say she's got the idea and I am not worried about going to music class tomorrow without putting a diaper or a pull up on her. I feel quite confident we will have very few pee accidents during waking hours, and that consistent pooping in the potty is only a few more tries away. And I'm confident that consistently staying dry at naptime and bedtime will occur soon.

The pros of this method?

As mentioned above, no forcing long or frequent periods of sitting on the potty "trying" to go.

No coercion or bribing. Though I did give Miss rewards (stickers, sometimes a yogurt covered pretzel, a small prize the first time she got poop in the potty), I generally didn't tell her "if you go, you'll get XYZ." I don't think there's anything wrong with the practice of explicitly offering a reward for compliance, I just don't love doing it myself, especially in this type of process.

No pullups or training pants.

Success in a very short time, even if it isn't necessarily completely done in 3 days.

It helped Miss learn pretty rapidly to identify for herself, and to tell me, when she has to go.

Zero power struggles.

Strong focus on positive reinforcement and even staying positive and upbeat when accidents happen.

I spent a lot of quality time with Miss this weekend. I mean a lot.

Cons of this method:

It is very time and energy intensive for at least three days. You cannot leave the house. You can't really do much of anything but stay by your child's side and remind her to tell you when she has to go (of course while playing or otherwise interacting positively with her). Over and over and over and over. . .

That's really the only con.

So overall, I would highly recommend this method of potty training. It is working for us. I'd do it again. Now to bed. . .


  1. I am going to have to research this method -- sounds perfect!

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